Head Coach Michael Maguire gives us his insights heading into his sides round five clash against the North Queensland Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium on Friday night.
Coming off the back of a loss to their cross town rivals in round four, the Rabbitohs will be looking to bounce back when they head interstate to take on a strong Cowboys outfit in Townsville, however, Maguire knows that an improved performance will be required.
“I think the boys are pretty keen to get back out on the field,” said the Rabbitohs mentor.
“We probably let ourselves down in a few areas against the Roosters, but we know we can work hard and rectify all of those, so we’re looking forward to getting up there and obviously doing it on Friday.”
Leading into the clash, Maguire has made minimal changes to the squad that took on the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium.
The only change to the squad has seen Braidon Burns return on the wing in the place of Sitiveni Moceidreke who made his debut against the tricolours last week in an effort that received plenty of praise from his coach.
“Burnsy (Braiden Burns) has been great, obviously he’s earnt the right to come back in, but I think young Siti (Sitiveni Modeidreke) showed some really good form there in how he played,
“It just goes to show the competitiveness within our squad and we’ve got to make sure that each individual continually works hard at their role in the team.”
With a near identical team named to take on the Cowboys, Maguire has urged his that his side to lift to the occasion of taking on one of the competitions benchmark sides.
“Obviously a great opportunity for our pack,” said the Head Coach.
“They’re a strong pack up there, they like to roll forward and they work hard for each other, but then you’ve obviously got your halves off the back of that.
“Across the park we’ve got to work pretty hard for each other and make sure we’re filling gaps and doing all of the little things defensively and then when we have the ball, make sure we’re a little smarter than we were last week.”
Despite Far North Queensland currently being impacted by severe weather courtesy of Cyclone Debbie, Maguire is adamant that this sides preparations will not be hampered by the conditions, but has sent his thoughts to those affected by the occurrence.
“I don’t think it affects our preparation, I think it’s more the point that everyone is safe up there, that’s the big key.
“No doubt I’m sure the storm will go, but obviously what it can do up there, I hope everyone is very safe.”
With the torrential weather in the area expected to clear in the coming days, a strong contingent of Rabbitohs supporters are expected to attend the encounter, as is often the case with matches played north of the border.
“We get a fair few of our supporters along, so (I’m) looking forward to seeing the crowd up there,” said Maguire.
“Everywhere we go, we’ve got The Burrow that follows and many other supporters that jump on-board, so the boys will want to get out and make sure that we perform well and do the things that we’ve been practicing.”